Vintage Stereo Receivers ~ Tuners ~ Amps
(1977) 65 WPC $300
Technics was rolling in success in 1977 and this beautiful SA-5470 receiver was second to the TOTL and one of the very popular SA-5XXX series receivers at the time. These are extremely hard to find, especially in such great condition as this one...
At a conservatively rated 65 watts per channel, the SA-5470 was physically larger & heavier (35 lbs) with more power than some of its main competition at the time (Pioneer SX-850, Yamaha CR-820 and Sansui G-5500 and the Kenwood KR-7600). We would rate them all to be excellent but we submit that the Technics SA-5470 and Kenwood KR-7600 are closest to each other in terms of build quality and cosmetic design. However...to each his own opinion, right?
It's safe to say this series of Technics gear is better built and better sounding than the next two series that followed in the late 70's, like the SA-x00 and the SA-x0x lines. The competition was so intense by the late 70's that everybody was cutting corners to keep up with each other. Fortunately, the SA-5470 was available before the cost cutting measures taken by Technics took place.
The beautiful and distinctive sculptured walnut case added to its popularity. This particular one is in excellent working and cosmetic condition.
Technics designed this series of receivers to have a soft blue appearance on the wide FM dial when it was turned off. Now, with the upgraded "cool blue" LED lamps, when powered on it has the beautiful, pleasantly brighter blue glow. Classy!
About TECHNICS / MATSUSHITA / PANASONIC
Founded in the 1920's, the huge Japanese conglomerate Matsushita had interests in many electronics companies. The most well known would be Technics and Panasonic. Technics was introduced as a brand name for premium loudspeakers marketed domestically by Matsushita in 1965. Eventually, Technics became a premium brand bringing classics like the SL-1200mkii turntable and the absolute monster receiver at the top of the list: Technics SA-1000 (330 watts per channel)
(1978) 85 WPC @ 8 ohms / 110 @ 4 ohms $400 (Rare And Pristine)
shipping not available
In perfect cosmetic and operating condition, this JVC JR-S401 was obtained from the original owner. Honestly, you just don't see these beauties very often...second only to the TOTL JR-S501, it has all the same features with slightly less power.
When JVC came up with the concept of the JR-S series of receivers they made a conscious decision to render an unconventional exterior design. They don't even remotely look like any of the other competition of the late 70's. At first glance you might ask yourself "what is that?".
Back in 2017, we had the TOTL JVC JR-S600 and were introduced to a whole new experience when it came to DC power. JVC gave Sansui's "Pure Power" receivers a run for the money in terms of real power output. Of course, they had an uphill climb because of the unusual cosmetic design...we welcome the design, it grows on you.
The S-401's is rated at a conservative minimum 85 watts per channel in 8 ohms and 110 watts per channel in 4 ohms. This massive DC power amplifier output, advanced phono equalizer and tuner circuitry combined with its clean and futuristic looks presents a stunning display of late 70's Japanese technology. The measured frequency response is awesome at 5Hz to 40kHz and the THD is an incredibly low 0.008%.
It has outputs for two turntables, two pairs of speakers plus the usual array of additional connections such as AUX, Tape, etc.
The gyro-tuning feel is smooth and comfortable during scan or fine adjust, and reception is excellent in any locale. The knobless design has push-buttons for every conceivable use. Weighing right at 36 lbs and measuring 22" wide, combined with its unique cosmetic design, the JVC JR-S401 receiver easily stood out among the competition in the late 70's and today, it still does.
We have added custom feet as shown in the photos. The original feet are also included.
About JVC (Victor) of Japan...
JVC was established in Yokohama, Japan in 1927 as the Japanese subsidiary of the U.S. firm, Victor Talking Machine Company. They pressed the very first record ever...in Japan in 1930. One of the more interesting factsabout JVC was that they built all their products in-house. Many other famous Japanese electronic companies farmed out a lot of design and manufacturing to subcontractors. That alone doesn't mean anything is necessarily wrong with having others build your gear but to have control of the entire process in house was quite unusual. Plus it saved a lot of money...allowing JVC to provide high quality gear at a lower price than some of the competition.
There unusual approach to design (for vintage stereo gear) included the extensive use of multi-band graphic equalizers instead of simple bass/mid/treble controls. The quality of their vintage turntables and electronic gear is mostly first rate and has emerged from being "under the radar" of collectors looking for excellent value.
Phase Linear 400
power amp ('73-'78) 201 WPC SOLD (modified, upgraded)
To begin with, this was one of the original Phase Linear 400 amps but has been completely upgraded and modified in May 2020.
The original, undersized power supply filter capacitors were changed out with new 15KuF/100V capacitors that have over twice the storage capacity. It also has a rebuilt power supply with new output transistors, set to spec and, of course, it's fully operational. The optional walnut case (shown in photos) and whisper fan (fan not shown) are also available for additional $100. Preamp shown in photo is not included.
Since this upgrade, it more closely resembles the stronger power output and better specs of the later versions without losing the very cool large twin analog output meters (they were later changed to digital meters), six new output transistors per channel, plus two drivers per channel right below the output transistors. It has a currently measured frequency response of 20-20 kHz.
Note: Because the 400 is a pure amp with no output controls and no power switch (always on when plugged in) it's highly recommended to have a high grade preamp telling the amp what to do.
The 400 amplifier was, perhaps, Phase Linear's most popular amplifier due to its more than adequate 200 watts per channel and a price tag roughly two-thirds that of the 700. The 400 was introduced in 1972 with a list price just under $500.
201 Watts / Channel @ 8 Ω
250 Watts / Channel @ 8 Ω @ clipping
400 Watts / Channel @ 4 Ω @ clipping
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
0 Hz - 0.25 MHz @ 1 Watt
Total harmonic distortion: 0.25%
Damping factor: 1000
Input sensitivity: 1.7V
Signal to noise ratio: 100dB
Weight: 35 lbs
About Phase Linear...
Phase Linear was an audio equipment manufacturer founded by Bob Carver and Steve Johnston in 1970. While primarily known as a power amplifier company it also produced several innovative preamplifiers, tuners and the Andromeda loudspeaker.
Its first location was 19555 23rd Ave. N.W. Seattle, Washington. Its second location was a small building in Edmonds, Washington.
The first amplifier produced was the Phase Linear 700. With 350 watts per channel it soon became the standard amplifier used in recording studios, sound reinforcement companies, professional musicians and audiophiles. It had a retail price of $749.00, or a little more than a dollar a watt. The design was notable for its brushed aluminum front panel and large dual VU meters and was made possible by the new high-power transistors designed for the high voltages of auto electronic ignitions. That original amp was replaced by the 700B and the 700 II. All of those designs were made to have extra power to run loudly the relatively inefficient sealed-box speakers like the Acoustic Research AR3/AR3a.
The second amplifier released was the Phase Linear 400 with 200 watts per channel. It shared the same distinctive brushed aluminum, dual VU meters front panel style as the 700. It retailed for just under $500. The next product was the Phase Linear 4000 Series Auto-correlation Pre-Amplifier introduced in 1973 and manufactured through 1978. It retailed for $700.00 at the end of its life. It was a design collaboration by Bob Carver and Bill Skinner.
The company was known for the most powerful audio amplifiers of the era led by the Phase Linear D-500 introduced in 1978. It was a stereo power amplifier delivering 505 watts of clean (typically < 0.1% THD over 20 Hz–20 kHz (RMS) power per channel. It had a retail price of $1395.Buyout
The company was bought by Pioneer electronics, and Bob Carver founded Carver Corporation in 1979. Pioneer added a high end cassette-tape deck designed in house and CD players designed by Kyocera to the Phase Linear line. By that time the company was in decline due to the increasing cost of research and development, and the departure of Carver. In 1982 Phase Linear was sold to Jensen, Inc which also owned the AR and Advent brands. Recoton later acquired the Jensen brands. Bob Carver went on to form Carver Corporation. He later had a falling out with Carver Corporation management and left to start Sunfire.
There continues to be a loyal following of some of the older products. Many electronic parts are still available for repairs. However, some mechanical parts such as switches, meters and hardware are scarce.
(1988) *98 WPC @ 4 ohms $220
Not that rare but very powerful and often overlooked in the marketplace, this Realistic STA-2280 has two very cool things going for it:
First, while the 60 watts per channel rating at 8 ohms is pretty good...upon closer look at the amp circuitry, it's clearly designed to handle heavy 4 ohm loads with a minimum *98 watts per channel. Solid interior build and intelligent circuit design allows the STA-2280 to pump out the power to most any power hungry 4-ohm speakers all day long...no sweat.
Second, it's got the digital "IMX stereo expander" circuitry that creates an effect similar to what Bose called "direct reflecting" sound. You hear a processed wide sound stage which actually extends beyond the speakers themselves to simulate a "live" feel. It's actually pretty cool!
By the mid 80's, most home audio electronics were digital and same for the STA-8820. It has a digital tuner with blue fluorescent meters, inputs for CD, phono, 2X tape, video and outputs for two pairs of speaker and LED "idiot" lights across the front panel. The walnut side panels keep the overall design close enough to that vintage feel without yielding to the boring black plastic that began to creep into the scene during the time.
And, of course, as it is with all our equipment, this great Realistic STA-2280 receiver is in excellent cosmetic and working condition.
About Realistic (Radio Shack, Tandy Corp)...
Realistic branded vintage stereo gear is all over the place. Some of it is right up there in quality with the best of Pioneer, Sansui, etc. Also, some of it is just...ok. Their best era was during the 70's when they successfully competed head-to-head with all the big names in high fidelity. They sourced practically all their products from Japan and sometimes had the exact same components inside their gear as the competition but at a much lower price.
(1977) 83 WPC @ 8Ω / 100 WPC @ 4Ω $325
In flawless cosmetic condition and working exactly like it should, this Kenwood KR-6030 has a massive transformer and power supply that puts out a minimum 83 watts per channel in 8 ohms and a healthy 100 watts per channel in 4 ohms.
NOTE: it should be mentioned that we fixed a commonly known issue with these (and many other units) due to the infamous arcing power switch. These power switches were under-engineered and, over time, tended to arc internally causing a build up of carbon which would eventually lead to the switch failing. We removed the switch, opened it up and thoroughly removed all the carbon and filed down the contacts. The switch was re-installed and is operating perfectly. However, we went a step further and bypassed the switch entirely by converting the on/off function to wireless remote control. Why? Even though the switch is fine (no arcing or flickering light issues) its original faulty design would eventually cause it to fail again at some point in the future. With the remote you will never have to worry about the issue again.
It has the classic look of 70’s Kenwoods with the exception of the large push buttons that the earlier models used. The dark dial face and amber white lights make for a nice looking display in the evening. This Kenwood KR-6030 comes with a black metal case but an optional wood cover (as shown in the photos) is available at extra cost.
The KR-6030 has a strong tuner section and excellent phono stage. The overall sound is sweet and transparent with many numerous great reviews on the web. It was built to compete with comparable top shelf Pioneer, Sansui, Yamaha, etc and, according to sales figures, outsold them all mainly because the cost of all that power and quality in the KR-6030 was "only" $525...a relatively lower price when compared to the competition in that class.
The silver faceplate design, wide linear FM dial along with the solid metal knurled knobs and switches are typical of Kenwood's striking top notch quality from that era. The original owner's manual and original full color Kenwood catalog from 1977 is included.
Tuning range: FM, MW
Power output: 83 WPC @ 8Ω / 100 WPC @ 4Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 5Hz to 50kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.1%
Damping factor: 50
Input sensitivity: 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (DIN), 150mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio: 75dB (MM), 98dB (DIN), 98dB (line)
Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN)
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
Dimensions: 480 x 149 x 405 mm
About Kenwood (Trio)...
Established in 1946 as the Kasuga Radio Co. Ltd. in Komagane City, Japan, in 1960 the company was renamed Trio Corporation. In 1963 the first overseas office was founded in Los Angeles.
In the early 1960s, Trio's products were rebranded by the Lafayette Radio Co with a focus on CB radio.
An importer of Japanese-made electronics Radio Shack (Realistic, Tandy Corp) was A&A Trading Co., and a bilingual Japanese-speaking manager from there established a company that would be the exclusive importer of Trio products.
The name Kenwood was invented by Kasuga as being the combination of "Ken", a name common to Japan and North America that had been tested and proven acceptable to American consumers in the name of Kenmore appliance (Sears) \, and "Wood", referring to the durable substance as well as suggesting a relation to Hollywood. The brand recognition of Kenwood eventually surpassed that of Trio's, and in 1986 Trio bought Kenwood and renamed itself Kenwood. Eventually, Kenwood merged with JVC in 2008 as JVC/Kenwood.
('76-'79) 50 WPC $225
"More guts for your bucks!" was Sanyo's marketing headline for the beautiful and powerful Sanyo 2050.
This amazing Sanyo 2050 has just received a thorough cleaning, maintenance adjustment and complete testing. It is an incredibly heavy unit (massive transformer, steel bottom plate) with quartz tuning, great specs and precise metering, the 2050 was firmly into a class with such illustrious competition as Sansui's "Pure Power", Pioneer's famous SX-780, Hitachi "G" series and many other well respected receivers in the late 70's. But the biggest difference was that Sanyo priced the 2050 considerably lower than the competition. Remember, in the 70's, $350 was still a LOT of dough.
As with all Sanyo receivers, the 2050 was built in-house, using their own parts. (Some of the same parts that others bought from Sanyo to put in their own receivers). The 2050 was the predecessor to the JCX and Plus hybrid series from Sanyo and sometimes the models even overlapped each other. The innards of the 2050 (and the JCX series) are much friendlier to service work than the later complicated Plus Series, that's for sure.
What we especially like is the pure analog build of the 2050. Four meters (dual power meters on the left with tuning and signal strength meters on the right), soft glow lamps across the tuning glass, sculptured aluminum knobs and switches are just a few of the visual delight of this one.
Sanyo's "Sampling Quartz-Locked" circuitry guarantees the FM stations are locked at the exact point of minimum distortion and interference.The power amp section was claimed to be free of any audible distortion and the excellent phono section boasts an astounding 78dB signal-to-noise ratio.
The walnut veneer case has real wood side panels and the silver face design sets the 2050 apart from all the others.
Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. was a Japanese major electronics company and formerly a member of the Fortune Global 500. They were one of the few electronics companies (like Hitachi) that made most of their own high fidelity components in-house using their own parts. They also supplied some of the other big names like Pioneer, Sansui, etc. with Sanyo built parts and components. Their late 70's JCX and PLUS series of receivers are very well known and in high demand by audiophiles. At one point in their history, they had over 230 subsidiaries and affiliates. Sanyo was eventually bought by Panasonic in 2009.
Sony PFM-9000 tuner / STA-9000 amp
Absolutely as rare as hen's teeth, the Sony PFM-9000 tuner and matching STA-9000 amp is best described as a compact multiplex stereo tabletop radio. It has a stunning, understated design that was first introduced in 1974.
The set is actually a remarkable miniature system from the early 70's. It has inputs for phono, AUX and five distinct analog FM tuning potentiometers with buttons to choose between any of them.
The two genuine walnut veneer cabinets connect much like a pair of powered computer speakers do today, except there is a second cable running between them, to run power from the amp half to the tuner half. There are separate volume and tone controls for each unit.
The large piano style keys on the amp unit select the inputs...it has decent sound for a small table radio.
This unique Sony system presents the mechanical complexity that designers had to go through in the analog era to implement functions which seem so basic to us in 2020.
Nothing to add here, Sony is one of the world's most famous names in electronics.